Sister Act movies have long been a source of entertainment but also a problem when it comes to communicating who Catholic Sister Actsisters and nuns really are. Unfortunately many people’s image of nuns is based solely on Whoopi Goldberg as lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier hiding out as Sister Mary Clarence in a San Francisco convent (do we even know the religious community?). Each of the nuns portrayed in the movie is naturally a caricature but still the images are compelling enough that they tend to seep into our imagination and to feed false stereotypes: stern mother superior, quiet mousy little sister, bubbly bumbling nun.

And honestly, people, do nuns really need a Vegas lounge singer to enlighten them to the needs that are literally right outside their convent door?

But enough about what I may think, I’m much more interested in what you think because I’m still not sure what to do with these movies. In some way they can lend themselves to positive perceptions of nun life but in other way to negative or false perceptions.

Sister Act movies, Whoopi, and images of nuns: discuss.